Prompt 354 – Refusal

What unrealistic demands or pressures do you refuse to give in to?

“Absolutely not.”

“Gabe, please!” Julian’s voice cracked with the plea. “You’re the only one left who can!”

Gabriel leered down at the pitiable man groveling at his feet. Julian had been strong, once. A leader worth following. He’d thrown all of that away when he lost his Sword. “Even if you were still the leader of the Fifth Society,” he said, “I wouldn’t obey such a demand.”

“Damn your code, Gabriel!” Julian tugged at his coat. “If Naomi secures the Eye, there won’t be a Fifth Society, or any Society, left to lead! She and the Second will wipe out this world.”

Gabriel stepped away from his former comrade-in-arms and out onto the balcony of his mansion hideout. The man who owned the estate was an old friend of his late mother. Harry had always promised it to Gabe as a safe haven when he needed to lay low, and with the turmoil in the Societies, Gabe had taken him up on that offer.

It seemed odd that any peace could be found in the nation when a supernatural war was being fought for the sake of the world just beyond the border of this land. The war wouldn’t reach this place, though. If Naomi succeeded as Julian feared she would, the war would be over. The world would be remade. “The First will honor their duty to defend the Eye of Janorrah,” he said quietly. He willed himself to believe it.

Julian scraped to his feet. “The First is weakened, and Naomi has three of the Swords of Ramka to pierce the seals at their heart.” His injured leg slid across the floor as he hobbled towards Gabe. “She must be stopped! You must go!”

“Must?” Gabe gripped the alabaster railing before turning on his old friend. “The only thing I must do is protect what remains of my family before the world changes beyond recognition.”

Julian’s eyes were pained as he looked at him. “That is why you are the only one who can stop her.”

“No!”

“Gabriel…,”

“I will not have my sister’s blood on my hands!” She knew he would never hurt her. It was the only reason he still had a Sword. He turned away from Julian so he wouldn’t have to see his shame, his cowardice, reflected in his former leader’s eyes.

He flinched as Julian’s hand gripped his shoulder. “Then give the Sword to me. I will go.”

Gabriel shook his head. “I can’t let you march off to your death any more than I can slay my own sister.” He covered Julian’s hand with his own and looked off to the horizon once more. “Whatever new world Naomi creates, we will face it together.” He hoped his selfishness hadn’t just doomed the world.

Notes: I wanted to go an honor code route with this one, a “won’t kill women/children” type code where the protag is being asked to do just that. Somehow it turned into an evil(?) sister who wants to use her power to take over the world and her brother refuses to go after her. Maybe he hopes she’s doing the right thing? Dunno, but it was interesting to me to have him not bend his code at all and possibly end the world by not acting.

I spent most of the day watching the K Project sequel, K: Return of Kings and I was very much feeling that supernatural battle aesthetic with the Kings and their Swords of Damocles and their clansmen. It was getting late when I realized I still needed to write today so I just drew from what was already at the top of my brain. Shameless ripoff? Probably, but it got me writing and thinking about different worlds so it totally counts.

I’m not ready for this weekend to be over yet. I know we still have Sunday but I don’t wanna go back to work on Monday. Being an adult is the worst. I’ll have another post for you tomorrow though, don’t you worry! See you then! Have a great day!

PS-Like these prompts? Like the short stories I write based on these prompts? Want to show your support? Give the blog a follow! Leave a comment! Buy me a coffee! I put a lot of time and effort into these posts and your support means the world to me! Ok, now go out there and write!

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